Robert (gurdonark) wrote,
Robert
gurdonark

Balancing

"In the nighttimes,
days don't seem too long,
happiness is fading into dawn.
No one sees it, such simplicity,
no one sees it but me.

In the afternoons I sometimes see,
images of suns that wait for me.
No one sees it, such simplicity,
no one sees it but me".
--- old Knowbody Else song

Today I moved from one emergency to another, preparing for several major imminent events at once. This inevitably leads me to reflect on finding balance in my life. I nearly cried today, when I got home and one of my dogs was gone.



Today was a very busy day, perhaps the least busy in what will prove to be a very busy week. I think it's unseemly to complain about such things, because (a) I am much less busy than I used to be in my work, because I made choices that made my life more livable; and (b) I chose this path, and should not mind the winds in the trail.

Tonight, though, I think of the juggling problems that go hand in hand with the life I lead. When I arrived home, our back gate was slightly ajar. I knew instantly what this might mean, and I ran into the house to hunt our two lhasas. The older one, Scout, was ready to hand, but seemed quite nervous. The younger one (only 8 years old), Teddy, was gone.

Teddy's a wonderful dog, but she's a rambler. She usually will come home when she gets bored, but this time she was nowhere to be found. I take responsibility for her escape, because we have a lock for our back fence, which I did not lock last night when mowing. I had special reason to ensure I did it right, because this morning, I looked at the spectacularly incomplete job of mowing I did last night, as dark fell. I must not have pulled the gate closed all the way. I certainly did not lock it again.

Tonight, when I came home, my dog had escaped. I felt tears well up in my eyes. I ran and called her name.
She could have been gone for hours. My wife was at a meeting, and probably had not stopped by our house.
I shouted her name, and I fought off the beginnings of tears. I could imagine her taken, or on the roadway, dead.

Then I listened to our phone answering machine. A neighbor had found Teddy out in the alley. They kept her until I could come get her. She was safe. I walked her home with her leash. Thank goodness!

Just a moment of potential loss, the potential loss of a pet--so riveting. A family illness, a danger averted--so riveting.

I once failed to brake in the rain, on my way to a critical meeting. How un-critical the meeting became, when the collision happened. Nobody was hurt. But how much it changed perspective.

Tomorrow I must arise at dawn, catch a plane, and work hard and well. But I won't forget that I leave a home behind, and that those in it matter more to me than life itself.
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